Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Members, New Life

On Sunday, August 15, 2010, Saint Benedict’s Monastery incorporated 28 members of the former Saint Bede Monastery in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Both communities had been preparing for this event over a long time—Saint Bede for several years and Saint Benedict’s for almost a year. Smaller monasteries or priories nationwide have been looking to their future and deciding whether they can or cannot continue as a separate entity, given the dwindling of members. Saint Bede Monastery began facing this decision at least six or seven years ago and now incorporation with Saint Benedict’s Monastery is accomplished.

I participated in the ritual event the afternoon of August 15 with mixed emotions. What grief the Saint Bede Sisters must have experienced when the final decision was made to dissolve their monastery. What joy and relief they must have experienced when the Sisters of Saint Benedict’s Monastery wholeheartedly welcomed them into their midst. Saint Bede Monastery was a daughter house of ours (founded in 1948) and therefore this incorporation is a return to home. Still, there were tears as well as smiles of gladness on this occasion, and the ritual gave due recognition to both responses in song and prayer.

In the Oratory where we daily pray the Liturgy of the Hours, I see the Saint Bede Sisters scattered among us, sharing our psalms, hymns and readings. They look very much at home and it seems as if they have always been here. Now we are truly one!

For a slide show of photos from August 15, click here.


  1. The Sisters of St. Bede's leaving Eau Claire was, indeed, a sad time for their friends here in the Chippewa Valley, but we are sustained by the thought that they have been assimilated into the Sisters of St. Benedict so seamlessly. Thank you for your welcoming home (in the true tradition of St. Benedict).

    Jane Mueller

  2. Blessings to you all - to those who have received with open arms and to those who have come with so many gifts to share. You are ALL in my prayers each day.

    Ann Moyer